So, you’ve filled out the myriads of paperwork required by your agency. You’ve survived the endless questions from your caseworker during the home study. And, you feel that you have used up every creative juice in your body after having completed your Dear Birthmother letter and photo portfolio. What do you do now?
After all that work and effort it can be a tremendous letdown to put the adoption process in the hands of your agency and do nothing but WAIT until the phone rings. I don’t recommend that you do that. After all, you still must prepare both physically and psychologically for the coming event. Biological parent have nine months to get ready and you must too, even if your gestation period may be as long as an elephant’s.
You say you can’t think of anything to do? I’ll be happy to give you some suggestions:
1) Make a list of all the major purchases you will need to make for your baby. I’m sure you can think of at least 10 or 12. Every month, do the research and check out all the brands and prices of one particular item. With all the choices you have, it could take you several weeks to decide on each item. For example, you could plan to check out strollers in May car seats in June, etc. This will keep you busy for quite a while, and it will be a lot easier on your budget.
2) Develop a library. Being an informed adoptive parent is a tremendous asset, not only for you but also for your child. Start reading and purchasing book and magazines on adoption. Not only do you need to have this knowledge as you go through the process, but you will need it as you parent your child. Start now. You and your child will definitely benefit.
3) Stay busy. The worst thing you can do is to clear your calendar because you are sure you will get a baby sooner rather than later. Take that course and go on that trip that you always wanted to go on. Putting your life on hold is a big mistake. Your child will arrive when it is time.
4) Choose a pediatrician. This individual will become a very important resource to you even before you become a parent. Once you have received information about a particular situation, it is important to contact a professional who can help to answer your questions. I suggest that you interview three doctors before you make a final choice. Not only do you want someone competent, but also a person whom you get along with on a personal basis and who agrees with your philosophy on rearing children. And if they have several adopted children in their practice, or are adoptive parents themselves that’s even better.
5) Develop your support system. I don’t know anyone who can go through the adoption process in a vacuum. Adoption is an extremely emotional process and you must have people available to you with whom you can talk about your feelings and frustrations. Find a few close friends and/or relatives whom you can call and talk to periodically. They need to be people who understand the process and know what a roller coaster ride it can be. They also need to be people you can trust with confidential information about a particular situation without broadcasting it to the world.
6) Call Kathie or Christi. We are here and we care. Please don’t hesitate to call at any time. As adoptive parents and mothers of adopted children, we can honestly say that we have been there and done that to almost any conceivable occurrence. We will be more than happy to help you in any way that we can, and we will be more than happy to listen when you just want to vent!
Good luck! The adoption process is not easy, that is for sure. But you will get through it and if you can just hang in here, things will work out. We are certain of that.